People living with dementia are currently being denied their “Rights” as Canadians by not allowing access to MAID. Here’s a story about Gus who died without the hope and chances MAID could have provided.
Gus is not alone. There are many people with dementia who could possibly benefit from having the opportunity to choose MAID. They don’t have to choose – that’s very much a personal decision – but for many, MAID will provide a beacon of hope and the security of mind that comes from not having to endure the typical end-of-life issues that come with dementia.
Terri Banfill read a story about Ron Posno done by CBC Radio on Sept. 30, 2018. She reached out to the reporter to possibly connect to Ron.
The reporter agreed to forward Terri’s request to Ron.
Terri and Ron began communicating via email.
Terri’s emails read-
I read your story and listened to your radio show
My Dad was assessed and diagnosed with Dementia five years ago, since then his life has become extremely difficult.
Why isn’t MAID available to Dementia/Alzheimer’s patients?
My reply explained to Terri that in fact MAID did NOT include Dementia/Alzheimers patients. I explained that I didn’t represent anyone. It was my view- shared by many – that MAID had to be corrected to include people with Dementia/Alzheimer’s but in 2018, people with Dementia could not apply for MAID. We were working to get MAID on-side, but it was going to take some time- possibly years.
My Dad has taken a huge step backwards and we’ve just been gathering our thoughts and next steps.
Dad tried to take his own life by cutting his wrists- while I held a towel on his wounds he said “I don’t want to live this way, I want to die” That was the longest few minutes of my life, waiting for the ambulance felt like an eternity.
He was living a nightmare and wanted it to end.
For me, before Dad was diagnosed I was like many people and just didn’t pay much attention. Due to lack of experience and knowledge, I didn’t have a clue as to how horrible this disease is.
I’m hoping you and your team can accomplish your goal and I would like to contribute any way I possibly can. For now, I will continue to share your website and stories to my friends and family.
My Dad has been missing since Monday, November
112018- last seen leaving his home at 2:48 pm
It is believed he may have taken his own life by jumping into the Detroit River.
I know my Dad would’ve taken a peaceful route if possible. He would not want his family searching for days along the river bank.
I will fight along with you even more now. He has now been missing for 3 days.
For more than 50 days in the freezing rain and snow and cold months of November and December, Terri with and her family and friends searched for her Dad (Gus) along the river. The police attempted to calm the family being brutally honest saying it could be weeks or even months before his body surfaced. Gus’s body eventually did surface (less than 4 KM from where he parked his vehicle) on the morning of January 1st, 2019. Their Christmas had already been cancelled
Since then, Terri has expressed to me that Alzheimer’s/Dementia patients should also be included in MAID. She was saddened and disappointed by our Government and Health Care System.
Terri wants me to tell Gus’s story. She loved her Dad, and she says, “If his story can help get MAID be an available option, please use it.” “My Dad was a good man.” Retired from the minivan plant, he loved his new life. His garage was his workshop, he spent hours gardening and chatting with neighbours. In his younger days Gus restored Harleys and built many custom Harley Davidson bikes for himself. Gus was always ready and willing to lend a hand with a project or help with car issues, plumbing, fencing etc. You name it and he would want to get involved.
“MANY people need MAID. To not include such a large group of people who are the ones who truly need help is a disservice to our community. Our Government is failing us, our Health community is failing. There are plenty of people who will help, plenty of people who CAN help. People who are qualified and get it, who understand the disease. Find those people and bring them in. I know myself I have family members who would consider MAID – my own Step Father may have considered MAID, instead he suffered for years with a disease that had his life slip away slowly and painfully
” “I am so happy that I literally stumbled on Ron’s radio interview during my research of Dementia and that I was able to connect with him. I will always follow his story, I will always help in anywayand I am determined to prevent another family from going thru what Dad lived for years, he really was living a Stephen King horror film in his head. Nobody should have to search a swamp, river banks and sewer systems for a loved one because our own Government is preventing a Humane solution. They just don’t understand the disease. They should be ashamed of themselves”
*Gus’s Story was written by Ron Posno in collaboration with Terri Banfill – Gus’s Daughter